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acid reflux

Everything You Need To Know About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach contents splash up the food pipe (also called the esophagus) and return into the throat or mouth. It’s a common problem that affects about 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives. The good news is it’s usually not a serious or life-threatening condition. In most cases, you can manage it through lifestyle changes and simple home treatments.

Fortunately, many lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help you ease your symptoms and reduce your risk of experiencing acid reflux again. If you are one of the millions of people who experience heartburn once in a while, this article is for you!

What Causes Acid Reflux?

There are two very common explanations for acid reflux. The first one is increased pressure in the stomach. The muscles of the digestive system will contract and squeeze food that is being digested out of the stomach. When too much pressure is applied or too much food is squeezed out of the stomach at once, it can cause acid to leak up and flow back in the direction of the throat.

The second explanation is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscles are not working properly. The LES is the gateway between the stomach and the esophagus tube. It is supposed to open when food is going down the digestive system and close when food is going back up.

What happens during acid reflux
Acid reflux – Image by Freeimages

How To Recognize Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn. Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest caused by stomach acid that bubbles up into your esophagus. You may also experience a bitter taste in your mouth as a result of the refluxed acid.

Other symptoms include:

  • A sour taste in your throat
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A feeling of food getting stuck in your throat
  • An uncomfortable feeling in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • A cough

It’s important to note that the above symptoms are not a given in the case of acid reflux. They are just examples of what you may experience. It is important to talk to you doctor because some of these symptoms may also be seen in patients with depression, anxiety and other conditions.

Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

You should be careful with certain foods that may trigger acid reflux. Learn which foods to avoid and which ones to eat more of to reduce the risk of acid reflux. Some common food triggers include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee and caffeinated drinks
  • Dairy products (cream, cheeses, butter)
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Mint
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Hot or salty foods

Tips To Manage Acid Reflux

Try to make changes in your diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of experiencing acid reflux again. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Eat smaller and more frequent meals to avoid overfilling your stomach, which can lead to acid reflux.
  • Avoid eating heavily seasoned foods, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and mint.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits to reduce your risk of acid reflux.
  • Avoid eating 3-4 hours before you go to bed.
  • Sit upright for at least 30 minutes after a big meal to give your stomach time to process food and reduce reflux.
  • Avoid lying down for at least 2 hours after eating.
  • Sleep on your left side.
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Do regular exercise to improve your overall health.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid beverages that are very hot or cold and overeating.
  • Don’t smoke, as it can increase your risk of heartburn.


Acid reflux is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of experiencing it again by making healthy lifestyle changes and following simple tips. If you are experiencing heartburn and any of these symptoms, it may be worth it to consult a doctor.

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